Name: Tabitha Danielle Tuders
Last seen: 29th April 2003
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Caucasian female, 5’1, with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Tabitha has both ears pierced, a birthmark on her stomach, and a scar on her finger. She was wearing a light blue shirt, Mudd jeans, white Reebok shoes, and a blue jacket.
Tabitha Tuders was born February 25, 1990, to parents Debra and Bo Tuders. Tabitha Tuders had a brother Kevin and sister Jamie. Her family lived in East Nashville, where she attended Bailey Middle School.
She was described as a quiet innocent girl that loved to attend Eastland Baptist Church and regularly volunteered at spaghetti dinners.
Tabitha Tuders was especially close to her mother, they would stay at home and bake cookies together. Debra would wake up to find Tabitha sleeping at the end of her bed, as she loved the comfort of being close to them.
April 29th, 2003 was like any normal day. Debra woke up at 6 am, finding Tabitha sleeping at the foot of her bed, she got up and left for work. Her father Bo woke up not long after, after getting ready for work he woke Tabitha up for school.
Tabitha got ready for school and left her house just before 7:50 am on her way to catch the school bus on 14th street & Boscobel Streets, which was around a 10-minute walk. She was seen by neighbors walking on 14th & Boscobel Street, while one neighbor, in particular, said he was certain he saw her walking and reading a paper.
Tabitha would always arrive home by 4 pm. Her mother thought she may have missed the school bus or that the bus was running late. She decided to drive to Bailey Middle School, but the school was locked and no one was around.
By 5 pm Bo arrived home from work and both parents drove the route Tabitha would take to go to school, thinking she may have gone to a friend’s house. They decided to go to the school, but this time they were able to get the generator’s attention who let them in. They searched around the school and got the attention of a teacher who said Tabitha was not in school that day.
A missing person report was made to local law enforcement just before 6 pm.
A young boy later told the police he saw Tabitha getting into a red with a man. The driver was described as an African-American male in his mid-thirties, wearing a baseball cap.
Tracker dogs were used in the search of Tabitha, which they traced her sent along a route up the hill, which collaborates the young boy’s story.
Authorities first classified Tabitha Tuders as a teenage runaway. This frustrated the Tuders as they all knew that Tabitha would never leave her family on her own.
Further investigation, the police searched Tabitha’s room hoping to find anything to help them find her whereabouts. While searching her room they found a handwritten note that had the initials ‘T.D.T -N- M.T.L’. T.D.T were Tabitha’s initials (Tabitha Danielle Tuders) however the other set of initials are unknown. Investigators believed this was probably a crush.
One of Tabitha’s close friends said they would sometimes go to the library and use computers to access chat rooms. However, they were not able to access these chats.
Debra and Bo Tuders, Tabitha’s parents have said she would never willingly get into a car of a stranger. This turned the investigators’ interest into looking at Jamies, Tabitha’s sister’s boyfriend, who at the time drove a red car and matched the young boy’s statement of what he witnessed on the day Tabitha went missing.
Additionally, the couple lived at the Tuders home for a while which allowed Tabitha to gain trust in Jamie’s boyfriend and the boyfriend would have known Tabitha’s route to the school bus. He also did not participate in the search of Tabitha, which put him as a prime suspect to investigators.
The neighborhood Tabitha lived on had ex-cons and sex offenders living nearby. Investigators interviewed everyone that had a criminal record.
A couple that lived nearby were arrested a few weeks after Tabitha went missing for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor.
Another man was arrested a few months after her disappearance, who lured a young child, who was one of Tabitha’s classmates. The man had abducted the child on his motorcycle and sexually assaulted him.
Furthermore, each of these suspects all had alibis and were cleared as suspects in Tabitha’s disappearance.
Police also investigated another man who was a maintenance worker who was in the area that morning. He was known to communicate with children in the neighborhood trying to buy their bikes. He also told the media he saw Tabitha on the morning she disappeared.
When questioned by police the individual would change his story as to why he was in the area that morning. Police decided to look deeper into this suspect and searched his home, car, and fishing boat with luminal, but nothing was found.
On October 30th, 2003, in Linton, Indiana, a trucker reported a sighting of a young girl, matching Tabitha’s description with another teenage girl and an older man.
She appeared to be frightened and anxious. This sighting was backed up by the same sighting a hotel clerk witnessed. However, these sightings were never proven.
If you have any information about the disappearance of Tabitha Tuders, please contact Nashville Metro Police Department 615-862-8600, the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children 800-843-5678. Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463, the FBI at 1-800-225-5324.
Resources and further information
Disappeared TV Episode: Season 9 Episode 10 (Last Stop)
Investigation Discovery – The Missing Season 2 Episode 5
Official website: TabithaTuders.net
The Charley Project: CharleyProject.org
National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children: MissingKids.org